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November 24, 2008

November 24, 2008

The Hockey News has been providing the most comprehensive coverage of the world of hockey since 1947. In each issue, you'll find news, features and opinions about the NHL and leagues across North America and the world.

In Every Issue

Second effort

WAYNE GRETZKY HAS THIS THEORY about the sophomore jinx. He doesn’t believe in it, doesn’t think it exists and figures it’s a cop-out. Sophomore jinx? “There is no such thing,” Gretzky said. “It’s all about hard work.” Indeed, the concept of the sophomore jinx isn’t nearly as prevalent as it once was, during the early days of sport-speak. The sophomore jinx implied that a player’s second year would be more difficult than his first season for reasons that defy logic. The more a player becomes accustomed to the travel, the schedule, the rhythm – really, just the life of the professional athlete – things should get easier, not more difficult. The challenge for a player is to get into a comfort zone, without getting overly comfortable, which is when second-year slumps tend to occur.…



It’s probably cold comfort for Republicans who no longer have control of the Oval Office, Senate or Congress. But take it from us, the right is on the rise. In recent years, finding an elite right-hand shot defenseman has been about as easy as locating weapons of mass destruction. But that will change in a big way in the coming seasons. For starters, Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators, Brent Burns of the Minnesota Wild, Mike Green of the Washington Capitals, Mike Komisarek of the Montreal Canadiens and Erik Johnson of the St. Louis Blues all shoot from the starboard side and all have the potential to be Norris Trophy candidates in the not-so-distant future. But it was at the 2008 draft where right-shooting defensemen exploded onto the scene. In fact, the…

In Every Issue

MVP venom

COMING OUT OF THE LOCKOUT, Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby were supposed to give the NHL the kind of high-profile, high-stakes rivalry that Magic Johnson and Larry Bird had bestowed upon the NBA two decades earlier. At first, they did, waging a memorable, I-can-do-anything-you-can-do-better battle for the Calder Trophy in 2005-06. But on Jan. 21 of last season, everything changed. Crosby, out with a high ankle sprain, was watching from a Mellon Arena luxury box with Mario Lemieux when Ovechkin nearly decapitated Evgeni Malkin on a first period play behind the Pittsburgh net. As Ovechkin recklessly flew in to deliver a blind-side hit, Malkin spotted him at the last instant, lowered his shoulder and sent Ovechkin tumbling violently into the end boards. ‘Ovechkin is a great player. Every time he hits me, I don’t know…


Inside the Numbers